PETALING JAYA: Malaysia has yet to capitalise on the potential of the app development industry, not because of a shortage of creative talent or technological know-how but due to a lack of understanding of the market, said Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) chief officer for Industry Regulation Toh Swee Hoe.
“We have enough talent but many don’t know how to match content and product to the needs and demands of the market,” said Toh.
According to the MCMC, there are currently only around 680 active app developers in Malaysia.
LTT Global Communications co-founder and CEO Wemel Cumavoo agreed that Malaysia does not lack talent in app development.
“Everyone is creative; it’s a question of how we channel that creativity and put it into use. The main challenge for local budding app developers is marketing and commercialising the content,” he said.
“We need to create platforms for local budding app developers to commercialise their content,” he said, adding that with 1.7 billion smartphones in the world, the app development industry is worth billions.
It is estimated that one out of seven mobile phones sold in Malaysia is a smartphone.
Recognising its potential, the Government has provided various initiatives to engage, train and fund local mobile-content developers, specifically the MSC Malaysia Integrated Content Development Programme (Icon) under the management of the Multimedia Develop-ment Corp (MDeC).
To drive the industry forward, MDeC via MSC Malaysia has stepped up efforts to develop capacity and build the ecosystem for local developers to enter the global apps market.
“Malaysia’s target for the application development industry is RM3mil in revenues from 2013 to 2015. To achieve this, collaborations and joint effort between industry partners, telcos, government and platforms must be strategically in place,” said MDeC Digital Enablement Division director Wan Murdani Mohamad.
Wan Murdaini believes there is potential and opportunity to draw local talents into the industry.
“MDeC is working to develop the capacity and building the ecosystem for local developers to enter the global apps market. In order to build content that can compete in the global market, we should build on our foundation and be strong in the domestic front first.
“So we provide training and expose local prospective app designers and developers to the ‘wow’ factor of apps, what makes an app compelling and what the local needs are. It is not all about technical knowledge,” Wan Murdaini said.